THOMASVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — A mother’s life changed after losing her son 11 years ago.
Now, each Memorial Day she’s reminded of the sacrifices he made along with so many other service members.
Across the Triad and the country, people spent the day at cemeteries and in parks, paying tribute to the men and women in our armed forces.
The ceremony at Memorial Park in Thomasville this Memorial Day holds a deeper meaning for Cole Masear, who lost her son in 2010.
“Memorial Day is totally different than what it used to be. For me, I learned the hard way, the real meaning of what Memorial Day is and what it stands for,” Masear said.
“Whether I hear the national anthem, anything in reference to respect to the military and the flag, our freedom, it always tugs my heart,” she said.
Roughly 100 people lined Memorial Park in Thomasville.
Masear’s son, Jacob Charles Carol, known as Jake, enlisted in the Army back in 2009.
He was 18 years old, fresh out of high school and eager to serve his country.
“He came to me and gave me an Army flag and he asked me to hang it in the front yard so that everyone would remember that I was a proud soldier’s mom, and I did,” Masear said.
A couple of years later, Jake was sent to fight in Afghanistan. A suicide bomber took his life.
“It will be 11 years November 13th,” Masear said.
Masear will never forget that autumn day in November.
“You remember the knock on the door,” Masear said.
Carol was just 20 years old when he died.
“I fell to my knees because I knew exactly what that meant. You know, you cry things out as a mother and you say, ‘Are you sure? Are you sure that was Jake? Are you sure it was Jake?’”
This mom will never forget the boy she said turned into a “good man.” A man she wrote letters to in hopes he would someday return home.
Instead, they now pay tribute to Carol.
Every year in the month of November, Carol’s family holds a 5k race in his memory. This year, it will be on Nov. 13 at Linbrook Heritage Estates in Trinity.
For more info on how to get involved, check out runthejake.com.